Tuesday, August 16, 2005

GIRLS, GUITARS AND RADIO

Virgin radio is expanding its digital station portofolio, by adding a new station, Virgin Xtreme. See? Xtreme, without an E. As this might imply, it's going to be all about the young, rocking folk with their skateboards and snowglasses:

"Virgin Radio Xtreme will be the most contemporary station around. It is not about broad appeal, we're going to get in there and be niche. You won't hear all the classic tracks you hear on Xfm and Kerrang!"

You also won't hear much in the way of anything other than a tightly-chosen bunch of new-ish records (Foo Fighters, Green Day, razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs) and adverts. Obviously, this is a station created from the demographic pie chart upwards, and in this case, it's looking at 15-34 year old boys. Yes, "boys" - apparently, girls and boys don't listen to the same sort of music:

And to target a female audience Virgin is planning two spin-offs from existing classic soul and disco digital station the Virgin Radio Groove - an urban/R&B service for younger girls and one for older listeners.

So, boys listen to guitars and girls listen to... erm, rap? That doesn't even make much sense in the context of lazy gender stereotyping which has no relation to the real world. (Okay, we know when they say "urban" they're talking more about slushy love ballads - but surely that's suburban rather than urban?

Things get even more, confusing, though with the news in yesterday's Guardian that (prepare yourself for a genderquake horrorshock) girls are playing guitars. Yes... girls. Have you ever heard such a thing? There's even a company, Daisy Rock, which produces guitars especially for females. Although even this does seem to suffer from the same exactly the same sort of gender stereotyping Virgin Radio are dealing in. Because how do you make a guitar for a girl? Apparently by making them heart shaped, giving the range names like "Pixie Acoustic" and "Heartbreaker" and painting them pink.

We'd imagine you'd not see Patti Smith dead with one...


2 comments:

dr entropy said...

They did say they have narrow fret boards though which would be very useful. And excuse me, I'd love a red heart guitar!

simon h b said...

I'd love a red heart guitar. But I'm not a girl.

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